😲 Sotheby’s Landmark Auction of 104 CryptoPunks Lot Was Withdrawn at Last Minute

Hello Defiers! Here’s what we’re covering today: News Sotheby’s Landmark Auction of 104 CryptoPunks Lot Was Withdrawn at Last Minute Gaming Guild YGG Pulls Out the Stops to Weather a Brutal Bear Market in GameFi CeFi Meets DeFi as Celsius Joins Forces ...

Hello Defiers! Here’s what we’re covering today:


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NFT Auctions

😲 Sotheby’s Landmark Auction of 104 CryptoPunks Lot Was Withdrawn at Last Minute

NEWS It was supposed to be a landmark event for the world’s oldest auction house: on Wednesday night Sotheby’s held a single-lot sale of 104 CryptoPunks carrying the estimate of $20-$30M, the highest-valued estimate for an NFT or digital art ever offered at auction.

AUCTION But as attendees were getting ready for the auction to begin after listening to a panel discussion, they learned the lot had been withdrawn. Champagne was still served as a DJ with a CryptoPunk mask played. The auction, called Punk It!, follows Sotheby’s record-breaking sale of CryptoPunk #7523 for $11.8 million in June 2021.


Image: DJ at Sotheby’s auction. Credit: Brady Dale

TRANSACTION The failed sale comes amid a souring cryptocurrency market, with total market cap shrinking to $1.7 trillion from a record $3 trillion in November. The group of 104 CryptoPunks were acquired together in a single blockchain transaction by anonymous collector “0x650d.” This stand-alone acquisition connects each of the 104 Punks with the same provenance—a wallet that currently represents more than 1% of the entire CryptoPunks collection.


🔥 NFT Market Still Hot As Invisible Friends NFTs Rocket to 10 ETH Floor At Launch

Invisible Friends, a much-hyped NFT collection of 5,000 animated invisible characters, hit a floor price of 10 ETH ($24K) as soon as the early access sale commenced on Feb. 23.

Prices have since settled around 9 ETH ($22,000) with over 10,000 ETH ($24M) in trading volume on OpenSea, propelling the collection to the top of the 24-hour leaderboard ahead of Tubby Cats.

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🎮 Gaming Guild YGG Pulls Out the Stops to Weather a Brutal Bear Market in GameFi

AXIE It wasn’t that long ago that GameFi was riding high. Led by Axie Infinity, play-to-earn gaming emerged as a cultural and economic force in DeFi. With in-game rewards incentivizing players and enabling many to meet living expenses, a new model had been born. Between the beginning of March and the November peak, Axie’s governance token, AXS, multiplied in value 110 times, bestowing the venture with a $10.5B market capitalization.

SLP But like everything else in crypto, GameFi has tumbled since those November highs. And AXS has lost 60% of its value. Meantime, Smooth Love Potion, its in-game coin that drives much of its tokenomics, has crashed 95% since July.

INCOME Even so, many gamers are playing games other than Axie Infinity. Many players also use play-to-earn, or P2E, to supplement their income and are not solely reliant on GameFi revenues to support themselves. That’s continuing.

BEAR MARKET So what comes next for GameFi? Was it just a bubble, or, as so many believe, is it an innovative new model with staying power that will endure a bear market? To get some answers, The Defiant interviewed P2E gamers representing top gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG).



🤝 CeFi Meets DeFi as Celsius Joins Forces with Maple Finance on Crypto Lending Protocol

NEWS Celsius, a centralized crypto lending platform, has become the first CeFi lender to launch a pool on Maple Finance, a decentralized protocol facilitating undercollateralized cryptocurrency loans to institutions, the venture said today.

POOL The Maple pool is also the first endeavor of CelsiusX, the newly launched DeFi arm of Celsius. Celsius told The Defiant that the milestone marks the start of its journey towards “creating a future where centralized and decentralized financial systems will coexist.”

LISTED FIRMS Sidney Powell, the co-founder and CEO of Maple Finance, said Maple is planning on partnering with more CeFi lenders in the future. “We are a technology platform for credit experts to run lending businesses and are in constant consultation with regulated and listed firms,” he said. “Our infrastructure is built to scale and support institutions across CeFi, DeFi, and TradFi.”


DeFi Essay

Scaling Breakthroughs and a Thriving Culture: Here’s What I Learned About the State of Web3 at ETHDenver

Contributing writer David Liebowitz came away from Denver with a lot of takeaways on the state of DeFi and what happens next.


TURNING POINT Coming back after a year hiatus, tens of thousands of experienced builders and curious beginners alike descended upon ETH Denver. The conference came at a crucial turning point for the industry as a whole.

IMAGINATION It was earlier this month that the likes of Coinbase and FTX bought Super Bowl commercials and The New York Times and Business Insider reported on the exodus of talent to Crypto/Web3 companies from Silicon Valley. There’s no doubt that crypto and Web3 have captured the imagination of ordinary people and that has inspired many to wait hours outside confabs like ETH Denver in the brisk mile-high air to get a taste of the action.

ADOPTION Coming into the event, I was excited to see all my friends once again whom I’d met on the conference circuit. I’ve only been part of the circuit since BTC Miami in early June 2021 and since then have had the privilege to meet some of the smartest, most talented, and driven individuals I’ve ever come across. As the circuit progressed over the next eight months, I met individuals that considered themselves more a part of Web3 than crypto, a sign of how much the wider community is segmenting even in these early stages of adoption.

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WEB3 Crypto is often associated with finance and the technical aspects of blockchain which was the topic of discourse for over the past decade. Web3 on the other hand refers to the “social layer” of crypto that is more accessible to the masses and has only become a common term over the past half year or so.


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The Tube

📺 First Look: Is this the NFT/DeFi crossover we’ve all been waiting for? Idols stETH BOND $virtue


🔗 Bitcoin price falls as Russian attack on Ukraine intensifies: The Block

The price of bitcoin fell sharply early Thursday as reports spread of an intensifying attack by Russian forces in Ukraine.

🔗 Crypto Sees $242M in Liquidations Within Hours Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis: CoinDesk

Crypto markets saw over $242 million in liquidations in early Asian hours as markets reacted to Russian troops moving further into Ukraine in what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a "special military operation."

🔗 MEV Research during Wormhole Incident: Misaka

During the 30 minutes between 18:30:32 - 19:00:32, there were $5,955,161 USDC, and 70,915 SOL totaling $13m of profit made from arbitrage.

🔗 FTX takes aim at the $300 billion luxury goods market and hires a beauty entrepreneur to head the push: Business Insider

Crypto exchange FTX is widening its ambitions to target the luxury market, and it has hired former model-turned-beauty entrepreneur Lauren Remington Platt to head the push.


🔺️RicardOruka🔺️ @RicardOrukaA @RSMErasmus study published an analysis on #blockchain technology potential as a mitigator of corruption vulnerabilities in #LATAM's public sector. #Avalanche had a primarily role on this study with the @CongresoQRoo's pilot test More details here: content.iospress.com/articles/journ…


6:53 PM ∙ Feb 23, 2022103Likes50Retweets


Chjango Unchained 🤝⚛️⚗️🏴‍☠️ @chjangoSuperfluid Staking is landing on @osmosiszone. Tmr, @sunnya97 joins me to cover that + more Interchain DeFi money legos being built on the appchain. It's alpha you won't want to miss! 📺 youtu.be/APGBLn3xGlU


11:29 PM ∙ Feb 23, 2022121Likes30Retweets

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🧑‍💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Brady Dale, Owen Fernau, Samuel Haig, DeFiDad, and yyctrader, and edited by Edward Robinson, yyctrader, and Camila Russo. Videos are produced by Robin Schmidt, Alp Gasimov and Daniel Flynn. Podcast is led by Camila, edited by Alp.

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The Defiant is a daily newsletter focusing on decentralized finance, a new financial system that’s being built on top of open blockchains. The space is evolving at breakneck speed and revolutionizing tech and money. Sign up to learn more and keep up on the latest, most interesting developments. Subscribers get full access, while free signups get only part of the content. Click here to pay with DAI (for $100/yr) or sub with fiat by clicking on the button above ($15/mo, $150/yr)